Tuesday, December 15, 2009

An Open Letter to 'Perfect Mommy'

Dear Perfect Mommy,

Lydia here. The other mommies have asked me to tell you a few things. And let me assure you, that while you will not like what I'm about to say - I am not a mean person. In fact, I abhor intentional meanness (yes, I was scarred by unpleasant high school experiences). I have basically three things to say to you:
  1. You are NOT perfect (and neither are your kids).
  2. Please chill out before you either give yourself a seizure or someone slaps you with a sandwich or whatever they happen to have handy.
  3. There may still be hope for you. Maybe.
Why you and your kids are not perfect:
First of all you, you spend far too much time trying to convince others of your superiority. Its starting to get a little scary. As a matter of fact, even the most understanding of us are starting to delight in your family's foibles.  Because you make it far too fun to smirk: "He was potty trained at 18 months? Really? All your kids were? How fascinating... because he's 6 now and I understand he floated a turd in the pool that shut it down for three days."

Also, I get that you're all organic and holistic and disapprove of my carbon footprint (I swear - I am totally working on it. I've just been completely exhausted for the past 6 and half years.  Al and Tipper have already phoned me personally to tell me that I suck.). Apparently, this love of alternative medicine means that you ignore the fact that your whole family needs to see an allergist. The snail trails on your kids' faces are too gross even for me, and I just finished cleaning poop off of my shower curtain.

Oh, and you don't know who Dora is because you don't have a television? Are you KIDDING me? You live in America. You know who she is. Because I have heard your child begging you to let her watch Nick Jr so she won't be a freak. And because I've seen you at Target where half the kids' clothing has Dora and that damn monkey on it.

And despite your claims that all your births were at home and those of us who opted for epidurals didn't really experience childbirth, you know damn well your last baby was a c-section. That kid's head is so big that the necks of all his shirts are stretched out like he's auditioning for Flashdance. If you birthed that boy without drugs, you'd still be limping and hoarse from screaming for the anesthesiologist.

Why you need to please, please CHILL:
We all know you're really into your kid(s). But look around, hotshot, we all are. The rest of us just don't pretend to be perfect because we know we could be that mom at the grocery store with a kid SCREAMING about his urgent need for waffles.  It's not that you are so bad, you may even be really cool, but its just that you seem determined to make others hate you.  Do you need examples? Because I have plenty.
  • When you "strongly advised" the preschool teacher about using your yoga breathing techniques (so that the three-year-olds would stop being so rowdy), she flipped you off when you turned around.
  • Also, I don't need your counsel on how or when to wean the baby (and please stop discussing my boobs in public THIS MINUTE).
  • Yes, that child over there is being a turd right now, and I feel bad for her clearly embarrassed mom. But you are being a dick by acting like it's a situation, when it's clearly not. And meanwhile your little darling is standing there, glassy-eyed, with her finger up her nose.
I get that motherhood is overwhelming. And let's be honest: I am so socially awkward at times that the Cap'n has several different categories of ways that I embarrass myself in public. And I'd wager 99% of Perfect Mommy syndrome is caused by the same self-esteem issues the rest of us are dealing with. It's nothing to be ashamed of. I used to have a career. Now I wear my pajamas to the grocery store. You're desperate to be relevant in the world, while you are stuck at home being bossed around by noisy, short people who can't wipe themselves. That's Mommyland, get over yourself.

Now, the other 1% may honestly think they're better than the rest of us. And maybe they are. Like this one on the right. Oh, for the love of PETE. Yes. You're awesome. We get it. Your husband? Also awesome. And your blog is better and you cook italian food like Mario Batali and you get paid to make out with Jude Law and blah, blah, blah... If you fall into this category, go on and click the little "x" at the upper right hand corner of your screen because this is not the right blog for you.

There may still be hope for you, Perfect Mommy:
You know that guy Dr. Phil? A lot of people really like him. I am not counted among them.  However, he does this thing where he "scripts" conversations for people to help them deal with situations. I shall now endeavor to do that for you.

When you pull up at the preschool or at your third-grader's soccer game, and all the other moms see you and suddenly are very busy checking their cell phones, say something like this:

  •  "Lord, is that a bagel? I haven't had carbs in three years. Gluten intolerance. Totally sucks. You are so lucky, because I would happily kill my grandmother for piece of Wonder Bread right now."
  • "No, we don't have a tv. But it's because I'm a nerd. And a DVD freak. Did I mention that I watched Twilight for the eleventh time last night?"
  • "Is that your kid having a hissy fit out there? Nice. Feels great, right? Mine pooped in the community pool last summer. On the fourth of July. Yeah - that was me."
  • "Yoga? Love it. Because seriously, without it, I'd be popping Ambien with my chamomile by 5 am and still be a raging B all day."
So, Perfect Mommy, you know what will happen if you heed my advice? You will get what you want. People will walk away from you thinking: "I thought she was kind of a know-it-all-snotty-pants, but she's pretty cool. If I couldn't eat bread without getting all gassy and bloated, I'd be pissed off, too. I love her!" They won't think you're better than they are - they'll think you're great. Or normal, which is very close. And I bet you are. Just stop being a tool. I can't wait to see to see you at soccer.

xo, Lydia

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